When people talk about teenage girls today, the conversation often turns to how addicted they are to their phones..

But what nobody seems to ask is “Why?”

Why are girls addicted to their phones?

Why do they obsess over Instagram “likes” and social media numbers?

Why can’t they put their phones down, even in the company of friends?

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If you ask me, there isn’t one explanation, but rather a combination of forces. And to truly understand the dynamic, we should first consider the heart and the mind of a teenage girl, and think about what’s important at that age.

For instance:

*Friendships are important – so important they can make or break a girl’s high school experience. Technology gives girls an easy way to connect and stay in touch outside of school hours.

*Love and acceptance are important. Achieving a lot of “likes” on Instagram makes a girl feel love and accepted. It offers tangible proof, in her mind at least, that her life matters.  

*Belonging is important. Social media creates an automatic community. It gives girls something to be part of that’s bigger than themselves.

*Impressing people is important. The quest to impress has always existed, and now girls can take it online. They can curate a perfect image and test-drive identities until they find one that draws attention and applause.

*Entertainment is important. Boredom is solved quickly by pulling out a digital device and seeing what everyone is up to. 

*Being “liked” is important. And let’s be honest: We all desire this on some level. We all want to be “liked” and affirmed. If we’re on social media, we too are probably guilty of posting things to elicit praise or make people think we’re something special.

The thing about teenage girls is, they’re very relational. They care deeply about what other people think. And while praise can go straight to their head, criticism can go straight to their heart. What results is an emotional roller coaster that often puts them at the mercy of other people’s words and opinions.

My goal as a writer for teen girls is to help stop the roller coaster. I hope to equip girls with truth and empower them through faith so that regardless of what the world says, they stay true to their identity in Christ.

And I’m thrilled to announce that TODAY, November 15, is the official release day for my new book designed to help girls with this mission!

Published by Thomas Nelson, it’s called Liked: Whose Approval Are You Living For?

This book is close to my heart because it addresses the biggest issues girls struggle with and the unprecedented challenges of growing up in the digital age. It’s packed with Biblical truths and practical advice related to identity, friendship, social media, and a relationship with God.

By reading Liked, girls will learn to launch their life in a positive direction. They’ll understand the difference between human approval and God’s approval, online friends and real friends, and living to make a temporary splash versus living to make an eternal difference.

The enthusiasm for this book has been strong, and I’d be SO grateful if you carried the torch today by spreading the word and supporting it in any of these ways:

  • Share this post through social media;
  • Write a review on Amazon or Goodreads if you or your daughter enjoy it, because positive reviews influence potential buyers.
  • Buy the book through your local bookseller, and if it isn’t in stock, ask them to order copies.
  • Post a photo of your daughter with Liked on social media. Tag me with the hashtag #likedbook.
  • Remember Liked for Christmas presents, youth groups, Bible clubs, and mother/daughter small groups.
  • Follow me on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with the latest news and announcements.
  • Consider leading a small group study of Liked for your daughter and her friends in 2017. My first book, 10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know, has been used widely across the country for small group studies with great success, and my prayer is that Liked will have a similar impact.
  • Come see me at a book signing:

*THURSDAY, NOV. 17: Tuscaloosa signing at Part Two in the Tuscaloosa Galleria from 6-8 p.m. Bring your daughter or small group! (Contact: Betsy McAusland. Call 205-349-2077 to order signed copies by phone.)

*SUNDAY, NOV. 20: Birmingham signing at Books-A-Million in Brookwood Village at 2 p.m. Bring your daughter or small group!

*TUESDAY, NOV. 29: Book Signing/Event in Huntsville at First United Methodist Church Wesley Center at 6:45 p.m.

*FRIDAY, DEC. 2:Birmingham signing at Lilla in Crestline Village from 12-1:30 p.m.

*TUESDAY, DEC. 13: Speaking/book signing with Vestavia Central Gems group at 7 a.m.

Also, I have a number of book signings/speaking engagements scheduled for winter and spring.  Check out my Speaking page, and if there’s an event near you, please bring your daughter, granddaughter, or that special girl in your life. I’ve been praying for Liked readers for over a year, and meeting them in person is the highlight of my journey.

Today’s girls are smart, talented, and full of potential. While they may be glued to their phones, it’s important to look beyond the surface and reflect on the desires deep in their heart that drive their search for approval and explain the trends we see.

I’m so excited about sharing Liked with you and that special girl in your life. I’d love for you to join me in rallying around this message that can change lives and empower girls of all ages to live boldly and bravely for Jesus.

Our girls deserve more than the superficial lifestyle this world pushes on them. Let’s help them dream beyond getting a lot of “likes” on Instagram, and let’s encourage them to value their worth not on how widely LIKED they can be, but on how deeply LOVED they already are.

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